Deputy IG pledges cordial but robust measures in fighting graft

The Deputy IG Ms Patricia Achan Okiria has said her office will have to pacify the elected leaders who interfere in the investigations simply because they have had invisible hands in corruption deals yet some unscrupulous public officers are getting shelter from them.

The Deputy Inspector of government Ms Patricia Achan Okiria addresses journalists at Multi-Purpose center Adjumani on March 30, 2023.

MOYO, UGANDA: The era of intimidation and harassment of government officers who are charged with the implementation of governments programs and handling huge government funds by the Inspectorate of government will have to be replaced with a more amicable but robust and deterrent approach; the deputy Inspector of Government (IG) Ms Patricia Achan Okiria has disclosed.

“We believe in serving the people amicably not arrests and prosecutions because we are serving and dealing with people who are equally engaged in service delivery and the overall development of the nation Uganda.”

The deputy IG who was on a two-day routine inspection and monitoring exercise in Madi sub-region from March 29-30, 2023, said there is a lot of lamentation in the country over a series of corruption scandals ranging from NSSF funds, Roads funds to the Karamoja iron sheets which point to the decay in morals of public officers.

Ms Patricia Achan Okiria said the IG has changed strategies and is directing efforts towards empowering ordinary persons to be able to know about the impact of corruption so that they will pick interest in voluntary monitoring of government projects in their areas.

“If you want to go to for a war you must first know your enemies and their war tactics, the citizens being the direct victims of corruption scandals should therefore be placed at the frontline of the war by equipping them with all relevant tools and weapons.

The corrupt public officers according to the deputy IG are targeting District Service Commission (DSC), and procurement and disposal units (PDU)because the two are grey areas for corruption where clues or evidence are easier to conceal.

“The vice is so rampant in the procurement of contracts especially infrastructure to the extent that the corrupt officials are levying illegal percentages of 10% 0r 20% per contract depending on the contract sum this has led to the poor delivery of contracts or compromising the quality of construction works since part of the money is taken away by the public officers”.

The Moyo RDC Goffin Gore has said the community woodlot project in Obokobu in Aliba sub-county, Obongi district where he had served before he was transferred to Moyo has been mismanaged and there is nothing to show since the woodlot is nonexistent.

RDC Goffin Gore said, the issue of Obogobu community woodlot sub-project is long overdue and needs action because despite repeated reminders to the community project officials there has been no action taken to sort out the matter therefore all the officials who have handled the project including Community Facilitators’ be called to account.

“The IG has served the carrot and it is time to pull the stick so that the matter of the project is put aside. There should be no further discussions on Obogobu community woodlot subproject whoever handled the project should account or face the law because there is nothing on the ground”.

Seemingly dejected RDC Gore Goffin also drew the attention of the deputy IG Patricia Achan Okiria to the multi-billion infrastructure development at Dufile subcounty SEED Secondary school that is funded by Africa Development Bank.

He explains that the contractor Achoru Traders Company Limited was procured to execute the contract in 2018 but to-date, the contract has not been concluded as the contractor decided to sub-contract another company to complete the works but the sub-contractor has also abandoned the site.

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“Am not happy seeing the district lagging behind in development because, in the end, the common persons suffer, we cannot, therefore, keep lamenting where there is evidence let pull the stick”.

The principal Assistant CAO Mr Vuchiri Geoffrey in a debriefing meeting later told the Inspectorate of Government team that the office of CAO has a steady working relationship with the IG regional office in Moyo and has been providing documents relevant to their investigations whenever required.

Mr Vuchiri said the office of the CAO has never failed in the obligation of reminding and guiding public officers on the standing orders especially on strict adherence to transparency during the implementation of government projects.

In reaction, the deputy IG Ms Patricia Achan Okiria has said her office will have to pacify the elected leaders who interfere in the investigations simply because they have had invisible hands in corruption deals yet some unscrupulous public officers are getting shelter from them.

She said elected leaders are also prosecutable if evidence of influence peddling and abuse of office can be unearthed against them because some greedy politicians want to direct CAOs on what to do is their immediate supervisors.

“It is cheaper dealing with corrupt officers only if the aggrieved contractors will volunteer concrete information on the murky deals because the racket of corruption in procurement is perpetuated by professionals”.

The deputy IG appealed to the office of the RDC to expand on the monitoring for early detection of irregularities since the agents of corruption have employed sophisticated means of corruption.

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The maverick Moyo town council chairman Chandiga Ceacer says corruption is noticeable in Moyo district which is demonstrated by the prodigal lifestyle of some public officers whose offices can afford corruption but the citizens instead adore them believing they have earned decent money.

Chairman Chandiga Ceacer has encouraged the deputy IG to empower the local leaders and communities by responding to their calls especially relating to volunteering information but also protecting whistle-blowers as he is ready to take the lead in a bid to curb corruption in Moyo district.

There is a loud outcry among the hapless contractors in Moyo who assert they are being fleeced by district officials from the procurement and disposal unit, engineering department and CAOs office, they attested that have grossly affected the quality of works and their business as the chain of bribe is extended and slippery.

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